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Looking over the Prime catalogue my prime interest was on the two prim bigger models using either the coax or twin-driver scheme. David reported that "the Festive and Impressive are indeed great but we cannot supply them until we receive the final test results from the anechoic chamber of the Aalto University in Finland. We have booked the chamber for January 2014. The subjective tests we ran are more than good but we still want the objective confirmation for our last improvements. Aalto University has been very busy for the past few months and we simply need to wait until it's our turn.

"On the other hand we've already developed new high-quality connectors for all our models, the composite Neox included. This is in collaboration with CA Electronics. Those terminals will be ready next week. They are made in Holland and this is our way to support the European audio industry. They are made especially for us and Crusade Audio will commercialize them later. For your first review then we would like to offer you a pair of Prime Tone loaners in natural soapstone.

"The Finnish public radio and television Yle broadcasting company have chosen us as their new reference speakers in a few of their studios. We will even travel with them to a new studio in Sochi/Russia for broadcasting the 2014 Winter Olympics. Their audio professionals are very happy with the Tone and its bass performance. After that we'll send you an Impressive and/or Festive model to Switzerland. For the Tone the dimensions are 240 x 150 x 140mm HxWxD and weight is 6.7kg. The driver is the new Seas Prestige L12RE/XCF coax with a 2kHz xover and 4Ω nominal impedance. Efficiency is a low 82dB as you'd expect for a speaker this compact which offers an F3 of 59Hz (-6dB). We recommend 20-100wpc amplifiers that are comfortable into a 4Ω load."

"The first stage of our speaker development using soapstone began in 2003 when Finnish music lovers approached Keijo and conveyed their difficulties in finding a pleasant speaker monitor with zero resonance.  They wondered whether the soapstone he already worked with professionally could be a suitable building material. This was the beginning of the current cooperation with a few audio engineers included Pasi Savolainen. The first tests took place at Helsinki University of Technology in 2005. Our current team consists of Keijo Myllyoja [right], Pasi Savolainen, Martin Anderson and me, David del Olmo.

Inner corner detail of Impressive model.

"Keijo is the manager and co designer in Prime Loudspeaker Oy and manager of Vuoluset Ky who manufacture various CNC'd soapstone products and now also our speakers. Keijo has over 40 years experience in different sectors like metalworking, machine construction/installation, welding classes and work management. Since 1993 he's been involved in various stages of stone processing. Pasi is our acoustic consultant with a master’s degree in chemistry, specifically heating technology and industrial processes. In 2003 he met Keijo and they began a speaker project which eventually became Prime. Martin is a bachelor of mechanics, investor and board member. I have a law degree and handle our marketing."
"Our dual-concentric driver has free air resonance figures of 55Hz and 1.200Hz for woofer/tweeter, effective pistonic area of 47/7cm², voice coil Ø of 39/26mm, linear travel of 6/0.5mm p-p and moving mass of 9.2/0.3g respectively.

"Finally Finnish nano technology company Ceramet Oy have developed a thin ecological coating for porous surfaces that's resistant to abrasion. This thin colored or neutral skin with micro pores makes a surface smoother and easier cleaned. Thanks to this technology our speakers really become perfect for many architectural spaces."

Dress up your Tone not with tubes but speckles...

... or in solid colors like these.

Anyone doing the math on the above curriculum vitae is bound to wonder. What type of world's best stone speaker statement could a stone mason, chemist, mechanical engineer and attorney possibly make? Here's what sound designer Tommi Slotte had to say about our Tone: "On Finland's independence day in 2011, Yle Production did a live broadcast of a celebratory church service from Helsinki Cathedral via multimedia which were seen and heard simultaneously on TV 1, Yle Radio 1 and Radio Vega. I was the second sound designer for the broadcast. I mixed the music for the TV signal broadcast and the entire Radio 1 outbound signal simultaneously. I used a Radio Ulkotuotannon radio-output UT-3 audio vehicle and Prime Tone speakers. A HH V200 MosFet main amplifier and Sony DMX-R 100 mixer fed the Tone in a 1.5-meter nearfield. The speakers were 50cm off the side walls, 40cm from the front wall. The broadcast rehearsal began on December 5th. This was my first proper chance to listen to the Prime. It's risky to work in such situations with unfamiliar equipment. Mixers always have their preferences which they believe can be relied upon in every situation. The mixer's preferred equipment may not always be perfect for the requirements but familiarity can help account efficiently for certain errors whilst working. At the moment my own preferences are Genelec 8240 DSP and Sennheiser HD600 headphones.

"I was surprised how easy it was to work with the Tone. The stereo field was established very clear right off. Things I panned could be pinpointed with accuracy. From the stereo image point the pleasure came from accuracy and a ‘non-speaker sound’ where the effects of using a speaker became less obvious. Only the sound image was left and the stereo field was pleasurably present without needing a lot of production work. At the same time there was ultimate accuracy as a fundamental element of quality mixing work. Tonally I heard a barely noticeable element of hard nuance in the midrange. The was perceptible but didn't seem to interrupt working at any level. In addition to excellent soundstaging the speaker creates an amazing 3-dimensional image behind itself. Especially working within church acoustics this is easy to notice. Creating good three-dimensionality is important in a monitor. In my own recording it was easy to note that the Viva Vox choir, solo oboe and singers needed artificial reverb to support close-up miking even though the church was miked already with two ambience pairs.

Another inner wall detail of the sealed Impressive model [right-most box in upper photo]

"For the same reason I added a hint of artificial acoustic to the organ. This 3-dimensionality made post production extremely easy too. It requires of the speakers to clearly separate spaces, delays and effects created by reverb gear. The Tone supported this very well because the transmission of the acoustic presence and feel of the space were very convincing to make it into a very reliable tool. The speaker seemed quite insensitive and required a powerful amp but the sound remained balanced also at louder volumes without getting messy or compressed."